Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Experiences of sexual coercion among adolescent women: qualitative findings from Rakai district, Uganda

TitleExperiences of sexual coercion among adolescent women: qualitative findings from Rakai district, Uganda
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWagman, J, Baumgartner, JN, Waszak Geary, C, Nakyanjo, N, Ddaaki, WG, Serwadda, D, Gray, R, Nalugoda, FK, Wawer, MJ
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Date PublishedDec
ISBN Number1552-6518; 0886-2605
Accession Number19109534
KeywordsAdaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Age Factors, Coercion, Cohort Studies, Coitus, Cross-Sectional Studies, Data Collection, Developing Countries, Female, Focus Groups, Gender Identity, Humans, Power (Psychology), Pregnancy, Rape/psychology/statistics & numerical data, Sex Offenses/psychology/statistics & numerical data, Spouse Abuse/psychology/statistics & numerical data, Uganda, Unsafe Sex, Violence/psychology/statistics & numerical data, Young Adult

Limited data from low-income countries are available on the continuum of coercive experiences, the contexts in which they occur, and how adolescent women perceive and respond to coercion. This article presents results from focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with pregnant and never pregnant sexually active female adolescents, aged 15 to 17, residing in Rakai District, Uganda, to examine sexual coercion, its context, and the links between coercion and adolescent reproductive health outcomes, including early sexual debut and pregnancy. Informants described multiple forms of sexual coercion, including coerced or forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching, verbal harassment, and transactional sex. Sexual coercion was perceived to be a normal part of intimate relationships; in particular, informants felt that a woman's lack of decision-making authority, including choices on sexual encounters, was implicit to marriage. This information may help violence prevention programs develop a range of strategies for addressing sexual coercion among adolescents.